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031: Louise Minchin from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to GB Team Triathlete

BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin on performing in broadcasting and as an age group triathlete for team GB. Louise is a journalist and former radio presenter and is best known as the anchor on BBC1’s Breakfast programme – a unique job that welcomes the day in for many people. However, you may not know that Louise has had a sharp rise into competing for Great Britain in the age group Olympic distance triathlon. In this interview Louise shares with us the spark that started this recent foray into competitive sport, how she prepares in training, how she fits this around a demanding day job, how she copes with the contrast of pressure of competing in a swim, bike, run versus the pressure of performing to millions of people every day on camera. Finally, we also discuss her new book “Dare to Tri” which has been written to encourage people to do exactly that and give something a go.

Show Notes

3:40 – Steve asks Louise that obvious question…What time does she go to sleep and get up?! She then gives us an insight into the discipline required to implement routines and habits to optimise sleep.

8:26 – Louise tells Steve about what sparked her return to exercise and sport and the need for a space in her life that was hers alone amidst incredible attentional demands at work on the big red sofa.

10:40 – Steve asks Louise to unpack the incredible demand she performs under in her role as a BBC news presenter.

15:10 – Louise then shares how she has habituated to nerves and some of the skills she has acquired in order to perform in triathlon and in front of 6 million people every day. But that doesn’t stop her getting ridiculously nervous at the beginning of a race!

19:40 – In 2012, Louise joined BBC Breakfast and with the help of fellow presenter Bill Turnbull, a velodrome and some endorphins, the spark to return to competitive sport was provided.

23:05 – Louise tells Steve about her athletic background and in particular her participation in swimming as youngster. Despite her love for the sport, Louise quit because of her perception of having a muscular body image.

25:40 – As a 50-year-old woman to be strong, muscular and to feel incredible as a result of training, is something Louise is now very proud of.

31:10 – Steve asks Louise about her book “Dare to Tri” and then asks when was the moment she started to realise she had true ability as an athlete?

35:30 – Steve and Louise then explore some of the significant moments Louise has acknowledged as particular experiences that have allowed her to develop resilience and confidence as a performing triathlete and the empowerment this brings.

39:06 – In her book, Louise states the importance of breathing and…jellyfish, when preparing for performance.

42:52 Louise shares with us her current level of training, what she is working towards next and delves into her past competitive experiences and the role of her coach, Claire.

47:30 Louise embraces the sense of community, taking part without dwelling on success and the feeling of euphoria in competition.

51:52 Louise’s motivation to inspire people through her book, daring to try, to exceed your own expectation, being willing to fail and to learn in whatever pursuit you may have.

58:20 – Louise does not define her success by races won but by the experience, the adventure, connecting with the outdoors. They then shift focus to what she is now setting her sights on and reflect back on the experience of racing in Patagonia, Chile.

Follow Louise on Twitter https://twitter.com/louiseminchin
Read Louise’s book “Dare to Tri”
https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/dare-to-tri-9781472961846/
Visit Louise’s website https://www.louiseminchin.com

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